is a general confusion. Terms,
symbols, signs and suggests that seem to say one thing and really mean another.
We are a system of contradictions and counter statements.
The possibility for the impossible and the implausible is here and in
abundance. Even the seasoned Masonic scholar would have a hard time explaining
to the novice how an organization defined as follows...
A peculiar system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by
produce a revolutionary document as follows:
then, this is the nation of Romulus and Numa, of the Gracchi and the Horaces, of
Augustus and Nero, of Caesar and Brutus, of Tiberius and Trajan? Here every
manner of grandeur has had its type, all miseries their cradle.
Octavian masks himself in the cloak of public piety to conceal his
untrusting character and his bloody outbursts;
Brutus thrusts his dagger into the heart of his patron so as to replace
Caesar’s tyranny with his own; Antony
renounces his claim to glory to set sail on the galleys of a whore; with no
projects of reform, Sulla beheads his fellow countrymen and Tiberius, dark as
night and depraved as crime itself, divides his time between lust and slaughter.
For every Cinncinatus there were a hundred Caracallas, a hundred
Caligulas for every Trajan, a hundred Claudises for every Vespasian.
This nation has examples of everything:
severity for former times, austerity for republics, depravity for
emperors, catacombs for Christians, courage for conquering the entire world,
ambition for turning every nation on earth into a fertile field for tribute;
women capable of driving the sacrilegious wheels of their carriages over the
decapitated bodies of their parents; orators, like Cicero capable of stirring
crowds to action; poets, like Virigil, for seducing with their song; satirists,
like Juvenal and Lucretius; weak minded philosophers, like Seneca; complete
citizens, like Cato. This nation
has examples for everything, except for the cause of humanity:
corrupt Messalinas, gutless Agrippas, great historians, distinguished
naturalists, heroic warriors, rapacious consuls, unrestrained sybarites, golden
virtues, and foul crimes; but for
the emancipation of the spirit, the elimination of cares, the exaltation of man,
and the final perfectibility of reason, little or nothing.
The civilization blowing in from the East has shown all its faces here,
all its parts. But resolution of
the great problem of man set free seems to have been something inconceivable, a
mystery that would only be made clear in the New World.
swear before you, I swear by the God of my fathers, I swear on their graves, I
swear on my Country that I will not rest body or soul until I have broken the
chains binding us to the will of Spanish might!
(Simon Bolivar, Oath Taken
in Rome) ( 1 )
oath, taken by a young wealthy Criollo man from Venezuela, newly raised in a
Masonic lodge in Cadiz, Spain would seem to be contrary to an organization that
, as quoted in Anderson’s Constitutions (1723) “..a
Mason is a peaceable subject to the Civil powers, wherever he resides and works,
and is never to be concerned in plots and conspiracies against
the peace and welfare of the Nation”
this paper, I would like to explore some of the ideas and historical factors
that make this call for revolution against “unjust governments” not the
aberration of Freemasonry, in the time period, but the norm. While the emphasis
will be on the steps taken towards the rebellion in South America and the
importance of Freemasonry in shaping these events, not only by supplying the
doctrine of revolution but also the men of action as well as the support
network, we must look backwards to go forwards.
point of this back history is not to present a defacto statement that certain
organizations or events have direct ties to Freemasonry (as we know it today)
but that they were indeed catalysts for change as well as fertile ground for the
imaginations of future generations.
knowledge and given preconceptions at the time of these events had incredible
effect on how future masons would view their organization, as well as what they
thought should be done in their own time. It
has been noted that although the Freemasons were not the direct reason for the
Enlightenment in Europe (and along with it the American, French and South
American Revolutions), it would be a hard fought argument to deny the individual
members their place in that history. Freemasonry,
by it’s being in existence, allowed for both the nurturing of these
revolutionary ideas as well as supplying an outlet for them.
ON THE WORKMEN:
anyone researching the formative ideas of Freemasonry must, we must first
address the various “speculative” stories associated with Freemasonry’s
please view the attached timeline for accurate dates and capsule
has been, from the beginnings of the organization, two fields of thought.
These are that [i].
everything written about Freemasonry is to be taken at it’s literal face
value. the world of Freemasonry did not exist until the formation of the Premier
Grand Lodge in England 1717.
this seems a simplistic summarizing of the wide world of Masonic studies, I feel
that there is enough work extant to make this statement.
problem has a unique parallel in Biblical research and belief and the flaws
there are also of the same type. The
real importance of understanding these two dominant schools, and the former one
most particularly is that it has the most impact on the development of the
“Enlightened” members of the craft in this early time period.
Fraters from the Bible. It has been
noted in some early publications that Noah, Adam, Solomon and Moses were some of
the first Freemasons. While the
building of the Temple at Jerusalem is a key part of the Master Mason degree [ii]
the other additions from the biblical sources were indeed much admired.
Noah and his story even appearing later in a concordant degree [iii] *Comacine Masters and the Collegia.
For a secret organization built upon the symbolism of the building trade,
there was need of a cornerstone group on which to anchor the derived
“prestige” for a man of higher
rank to want to affiliate. The
Comacine and the Collegia were just such a group.
Men that were instructed in long lost building techniques, an almost
monastic order that required strict life sacrifices and oaths of fealty to allow
it’s knowledge to be taught and learned.
were engineers, architects and mathematicians, not some lowly day laborer.
Favorites of royalty and sought after the world over.
The mysteries of the building of the Gothic cathedrals, Roman aqueducts
and Egyptian pyramids fell to them. Euclid,
Pythagorus and Archimedes were their scions and brothers.
pursuit of science and mathematics were their goals and any like minded
candidate was invited to follow their path.
particular view of the Collegia as forerunner to our current Freemasonry is best
represented in Joseph Fort Newton’s Book “The
Builders”. (It is important
to note that this book is one of the most successfully published Masonic books
in the United States and was commissioned by the Grand Lodge of Iowa.) *The
Knights Templar. The life and death
of this famous order has become inextricably bound to the history of
Freemasonry. So much so that there
is even a concordant body which takes it’s name as well as another that
incorporates these “Chivalric Orders” into their degree system.
The interest in this supposed “heretical” group of knights goes back
quite sometime and with the new interest in the cross organizational ties (see:
Robinson’s Born in Blood as well as
the popular Da Vinci Code book and
movie), there should be no shortage of interest for a long time to come.
common thread in the story being that the Templars were not actually heretics,
but the keepers of some type of divine secret (some times the Ark of the
Covenant or the the Holy Grail or even the Shroud of Turin) another interesting
possibility is that since the Knights had their own insulated clergy as well as
access to knowledge from the scholastic east (including hard to get Greek and
Latin documents), that they were practicing a less than “catholic”
form of Christianity. If
there was such a forward thinking, autonomous and wealthy organization operating
outside of standard parochial authority, it would only be a matter of time
before it was suppressed. And it
grist for the writers, of course, is the inability of the Templar’s
persecutors to seize either the majority of their treasure, their merchant fleet
or their clergy. These have lived on in man’s imagination to this day and
most assuredly were on the minds of some of our early members as well.
The Invisible College of the Rose Cross Fraternity (Rosicrucians)
1615 and again in 1616 the appearance of manifestos (Fama Fraternitatis and
Confessio Fraternitatis) throughout Europe cause a ground swell of interest in
this “Invisible” College. An
organization that promotes the values of truth, education and the betterment of
man all tied to a better understanding of the relationship between man and his
God, the Rosicrucians are alternately the utopian view for a downtrodden society
or a bunch of vicious anarchists by a wary church and various monarchies.
(NOTE: For an outstanding
book dealing with this particular group their effects on the political landscape
of Europe, read The Rosicrucian
Enlightenment by C.E. Yates.)
again the organization professes the betterment of man and the promotion of
useful knowledge while hoping to make the ruling class more enlightened.
it’s embryonic state, Enlightened thought, or what would some day by that name
was subject to great adversity.
quest for rational, reasoned thought was, at that time, highly censored both by
the competing monarchies of Europe and the Roman Catholic Church.
In a time period where an unfavorable review of your work could often
times mean torture or death, it fell to the scholar to try and be most
circumspect in his stated and published beliefs.
the most part we have isolated scholars operating on their own and publishing
(when physically and/or financially possible) their own interpretations and
discoveries. The individual level of scholarship was very high and most of
these learned gentlemen had an aptitude in Latin, Greek and sometimes Hebrew.
The studies of some (ex. Doctor John Dee) in the field of mathematics and
science were truly ground breaking work. Although
their other fields of interest (ex. Dr.
Dee’s conversation s with spirits and angels) had occasion to diminish
history’s view of their accomplishments.
majority of learning was being culled from sources in antiquity.
The “classical” education, learning of the Greek and Latin classic
works, can be seen to evolve from these solitary scholars.
while the classics were to be admired and studied closely, there was also a very
high level of devout spirituality and Biblical study running through this
period also is marked by the continued discovery of new lands, the accurate
charting of existing ones and the formation of centralized institutes of higher
learning. All fired by the
invention of the printing press and later by movable type, this world of
rational and speculative thought was heading towards the greatest period of
expression that the western world had ever seen.
should come as no surprise to any, making even a cursory reading of this period,
that this would be the time when societies, secret or otherwise, would spring
up. Like minded men would feel the need to share information and
thoughts and to find new sources for ideas and research. It would be networking and resource pooling with some social
activities all rolled into one. The
knowledge that some of these ideas and activities could put a life into mortal
peril would be a factor in the instituting of some type of entrance pledge, as
well as the fact that a ritual of some solemnity would help to place the proper
“tone” on any of these events. Thus
these cells would form in a regional way with the occasional traveling member
possibly meeting with other like minded men in other parts of the country or
world. A series of lines of
communication could have been formed and the transfer of knowledge expanded.
this way, these early groups would be looking for a system of communication,
recognition and support that would allow their members to greatly simplify their
transfers of thought and information to those similarly inclined over greater
distances and with the level of secrecy that they required.
nature of everything is best considered in the seed” (Francis Bacon)
these men of the enlightenment taking
these giant steps into a new world awareness, they were not only challenging
their own minds and that of their fellow scholars, there were others being
challenged as well.
in religious views, national direction as well as class structure were all being
felt, and in some ways aided, by these men. As the perception of man’s place
in society changed, so too did the dictates of revolution.
An example of the changing place of the individual in revolutionary
society can be seen in “The Chronology of Events” (see
notice that the classical idea of Plato’s “Philosopher King” [iv] is slowly being replaced by either the idea of
constitutional monarchies or by the removal of monarchy all together.
I feel that this evolution became valid as a response to the
disillusionment caused by the “failure” of the Rosicrucian movement and the
defeat of Frederick V of Bohemia. While
the rule of James I of England could be seen as a high point in the advance of
the enlightened monarch, the problem facing the public was the ability to
“enlighten” each successive monarch. As
a monarch was still practicing near absolute rule in most places outside of
England, the strain on this hypothetical “Philosopher King” appearing in
every generation would be almost impossible to bear. [v]
idea then could be turned to the education of the individual.
By education of a larger group of the population, there could be an
almost built in fail-safe that even if the monarch or government were to tend
toward despotism, there should be enough well educated people, in all walks of
life, that would be able to sound the warning call the citizenry.
To the task of organizing this revolutionary view of society, on man had
already dedicated himself.
life and work of Francis Bacon is so extensive that it cannot be covered while
trying to write on any other topic. his
work would eclipse the paper and since he is one of the most well known of the
Enlightenment figures, we can dispense with all but the cursory information. As
he applies to this work, he will be known for just a few of his illustrious
philosophy that to be more like God, one must learn all that is available in the
natural world. The study of the
sciences and arts are an almost religious vocation and such study should be
approached with reverence “In God all
knowledge is original” [vi]
With this philosophy in mind, he constructed the master work “The
Advancement of Learning”.
it, he tells us how to set up the systems by which people are to be educated,
what the fields of the sciences and arts should look like and why it is
important to have an educated population. While
this may not seem as vital today, it was one of the most serious works of the
time period and presented to the King with some trepidation as the ideas were
not at all widely held. It was a
highly risky situation that Bacon would publish this in his own name due to the
fact that “heresy” and “inquisition” could be considered to be around
every corner and the nobility view of peasants and serfs were not one to breed
equality in the moment.
did succeed in both interesting the crown and also in galvanizing other
intellectuals into the feeling that there was, indeed, a chance for positive
change in their world. For this reason, it has been assumed by many that bacon had
no small influence on the Rosicrucian doctrines that surfaced a mere eight years
after his work. Nor do they
discount that he would have been a supporter, albeit a silent one, for this
newly declared “Invisible College”.
is common knowledge that he was the founder of “The Knights of the Helmet”,
a group sometimes attributed as the prototype for modern freemasonry, but the
organization continues to gather interest from the scholarly and noble
a detailed description of this organization see Tudhope’s , Bacon Masonry)
The influence of this group on the growing theater movement , and
it’s move from sanitized religious plays on feast days to a most
confrontational and provocative art form, can be credited with the dissemination
of enlightenment ideas to a much larger segment of the population as the pre
required ability to read and write were then removed.
Also, on it’s secondary levels, information was able to be broadcast to
those of a more knowledgeable strain by simply sitting in a theater versus some
hidden room. This, too is a
holdover from the days of the Rosicrucians and other hermetic organizations.
EXAMPLE OF THE INVISIBLE COLLEGE:
On the right is a copy of a plate titled “The
Invisible College of the Brothers of the Rosy Cross” attributed to a
Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens circa 1618.
(The following interpretations are casual and used for explanatory
initial form of communication is through the drawing; a tower on wheels with a
winged tower. This representing the mobility of this order which claims no
members and all members. A trumpet; to proclaim it’s arrival or coming or is
it to broadcast the manifesto of the organization? The guardians in the turrets;
three men armed with feathers, is knowledge their weapon? or is it the writing
of correspondence and transmission of knowledge, possibly represented by the
winged letters coming and going? their defense? shields (note the addition of
hebrew to the shields, is this an additional layer of information or a blind?)
There are quite a number of pictorial images and they all have a very high
multiplier of possible meanings.
also have the layers of Latin and Hebrew words, coupled with (I am unable to
verify at this point) some Greek and Italian as well as compound words which
could stand for short quotes of sayings.
we have pictures, phrases, words and geometry working together to make a point.
Note the man at the right foreground; he is a traveler or pilgrim?(bag,
hat and stick on the ground) yet he kneels clasping the anchor (hope?) and
stares p to heaven (oriens= latin: rising sun, east morning) the phrase “ignorantium
meam agnosco” = latin: to know again, the line drawn representing the
hypotenuse of a 90 degree triangle.
can all be seen as working in conjunction so that only the trained eye or one
looking for specific significance will be able to ascertain the message.
(Example: taking the phrase from the tower’s front facing side “Jesus Nobis
Omnb” if adding the letters to make it “Jesus Nobis Omnibus”
we do not find a direct Latin translation.
However, if we are to cross reference these three words, they appear in
one specific part of the new testament...
is no condemnation to them that, being justified by Christ, walk not according
to the flesh, but according to the spirit.
Their strong hope and love of God.”
Chapter 8) [vii]
would make for a fitting code for any group professing a yearning for
enlightenment. (or is that what it is supposed to mean?)
drawing is a learning tool just as much as it is a message.
One can even say that this message is knowledge and that this drawing and
the many like it were meant to instruct, through a combination of symbols and
dialogue, our intellectual forefathers.
would feel it a waste, as a novice to Masonic study, I would not be able to give
any in-depth background history on our organization at this time.
However, I will state a couple of points to illustrate the lines of
transference from the earlier Rosicrucian, hermetic, pre/early Enlightenment
Scholars to the organization that we are all a part of.
we do know for a fact that Elias Ashmole, through his own writings, was made a
“speculative” mason in England in the year 1646. The Royal Society was
founded in 1660 and was a hotbed of Masonic activity and finally in 1717 the
controversial “Premier Grand Lodge of England” was formed.
must thank Brother Ashmole for not following Masonic protocol of the day and
adding this important bit of history to his diaries as it allows us to show the
short span of time from the Rosicrucian Manifestos (1615 and 1616) to the times
of organized “speculative” masonry. It
is not the premise to say that the one organization blended itself into the
other in this short span of time, but rather the influences of the Rosicrucians
(and by inference of Bacon’s Knights of the Helmet” as they would have been
of influence to the former) but that the founders of the Freemasons identified
heavily with the principles of the Rose Cross Brothers.
EXAMPLE OF THE “BAMBERG PLATE”:
On the right is the copy of the “Bamberg Plate” found in a Masonic lodge
in Bamberg Germany, “the plate is actually produced in England in 1789 by
P.Lambert, R.A.” [viii]
fact that there are a good number of similar symbols used as well as the
implementation of “cipher pictures” (see above example of Invisible
College”) would lead some to
conclude that the pursuits and ideas of those earlier “secret” societies
were alive and well in this new organization of freemasonry.
That fact that the origins of Regular Freemasonry are firmly rooted in
England and that, as we see, by 1789 versions of English Masonic drawings are
being made with French inscriptions (and not just regular craft lodges but royal
arch chapters as indicated). Would
this be due to the fact that French was considered a more civilized language (it
had been spoken in English royal courts for many years) or do to the
proliferation of Masonic lodges onto the continent?
would defend this point by having those interested take the “Invisible
College” and “Bamberg” drawings and cross referencing the images that are
used in them with the images available in either Claudy’s “Introduction to
Freemasonry”, Carpenter’s “Exemplar” or Robert's “The Craft and It’s
Symbols” without giving much away, I feel that you will see that the symbolism
for a large number of these “points of virtue” will cross over from one
system to the next.
this can be seen to illustrate is that there is a shared core belief system and
that this would allow the more “serious” or studious of the Masonic brothers
to feel a strong sense of connection to these older mystery organizations. This is how myth and folklore work to tie us to these groups.
one ever says that the Freemasons are direct descendants of the Rosicrucians or
the Comancines or the Knights Templar. Or
do they? Of course they do! There
may be an even balance of written work by Masons and Anti-masons alike that does
just that. Does this make it true?
as the more empirical of our research brethren and non allied scholars will tell
you. There is no Rosetta Stone here.
No last will and testament, death bed confession no bill of sale or
transfer of corporate assets. The
temples were not merely redecorated and the members informed in writing that
they must now call themselves Freemasons. Largely
because there are so many conceptions of what a Freemason is, was or should be.
some corners of the world, they can tell you in a verse what makes a man a
freemason. In others it may be a
sign or token.
believe myself to be a Freemason- not so much for the reason that I was
initiated by older masons in a warranted Lodge, but because I perceive what
Freemasonry is and why it is, when and where it came into existence, and by what
means it is advanced or retarded..” (The first conversation, Ernst und Falk,
Lessing 1778) [ix]
as stated in Lessing’s “Masonic
Dialogues” the perception of what Freemasonry is.
has survived through these centuries of strife and persecution, not due to
it’s novel or faddish approach to the average man, but to it’s appeal to the
very core of a man’s understanding of what is right and good in himself and
society. It allows those wishing to
better themselves an outlet to sympathetic ears and a resource of support for
both material as well as spiritual research.
again I would suggest consulting the various extant books discussing ritual and
symbolism and point out that the core beliefs of freemasonry are universal.
The changes are in the way in which the beliefs and instructions are
bestowed on the individual. This
can be easily attributed to the distances that the word had to travel and the
time periods in which it happened. None
of it however, would have been possible without the selfless dedication of the
early brothers, “evangelists” you can almost say, who dedicated their life's
to the expansion and expression of Freemasonry.
EXAMPLE OF THOMAS DUNKERLEY:
we can obtain a precise figure for extant lodges contemporary to the formation
of the “Premier Grand Lodge of England” in 1717 a great bit of the credit
for the expansion of Freemasonry into other parts of the Empire and to the
continent as well (I include the odd non warrant carrying mason who would have
set up informal work in France, Germany, Spain, etc.) would go to one man,
Thomas Dunkerley. The particulars
of Dunkerley’s illustrious Masonic career and his successful tenure as
Provincial Grand Master are ably illustrated in Chudley’s Book “Thomas Dunkerly: A Remarkable Freemason” Of special importance
should be the fact that Dunkerely was able to receive warrants to hold lodge and
make masons on various ships of Her Majesty’s fleet would prove significant,
not only to the spread of Freemasonry, but the speed with which Masonic
correspondence could be transmitted and received.
will be made of this important man and his benefit to Freemasonry and the
revolutionary movement later.
the spreading of the “word” of Freemasonry was well underway, there was a
growing concern as to the ability of the “regular” (those coming from the
style of work as exemplified by the Premier Grand Lodge of England and any
“irregular” Lodge to exist in any type of brotherly status.
would feel that this mindset had more to do with tone group’s need to be
superior to another or that there was a purely monetary motivation for it.
(Lodges then as now had to pay for warrants, had dues and their members were
expected to pay for their initiation into and continued membership in
Freemasonry.) While this may have
become a side effect of the process, it would seem to even the casual observer
that if the “secrets” of Freemasonry were of such importance then there was
a real need for all candidates to receive the same amount of instruction and
can turn once again to our proffered Claudy and Roberts’ texts and realize
that there are differences in regional and period descriptions of what goes into
the work leading up to the imparting of Masonic knowledge, there is an
exactitude in the underlying thoughts and ideas of what it is the candidate is
to be getting from the work.
an organization to recognize members as they travel about a country or region of
the world, it would be necessary to have uniform signs and modes of recognition.
The “goals” of the organization, at least at a functional level would
be made available, equally to all members.
This would allow for greater ease of introduction as well as means of
verification of membership.
was to this process that William Preston was to devote a great portion of his
life. Preston gave us the first
“Illustrations” in 1772 and was an outspoken champion of uniformity and
perfection of degree work. The interesting point in his story is that we can see
the frailty in the Masonic organization at that time.
Lessing would have all men who felt in tune to the teachings of Masonic
“light” consider themselves masons and allow for a great liberalism in
thought and work (much in the same vein as the Rosicrucians) the Premier Grand
Lodge can be likened to custodians of knowledge.
They do not move the message forward but seek to preserve it and allow
others to take Freemasonry’s teachings to their own ends.
This “doctrine without dogma” is what allows the Freemasons to delve
not only into the wide universe of science and arts, but for some to feel
totally comfortable in their parts in the revolutions of the time.
can see from Dyer’s “William Preston”,(Chapter
that at the time period that Preston has formed his alternate degree
system, the Order of Harodim, it is the thought behind the degrees and not the
physical organization that appeals to candidates.
We see this later as other “irregular lodges” form and fold
throughout Europe and the Americas. It
is this English tenacity to regulate the work of the lodges (by this meaning the
degrees and their teachings) that has had it’s longest reaching effect on
allowing the work of such luminaries as Preston to survive these last three
time of Enlightenment was revolution on a grand scale.
When I say revolution, I am referring to the totally new influx of ideas,
influences and morality that was brought into being at this time.
All fields and traditional roles were being challenged and with the
advent of additional scientific discovery and the rise of the new philosophers
(philosophes to the French) organized religion i.e. the Roman Catholic Church
and organized government i.e. the monarchies of Europe, including to a degree
England was in for one series of confrontations after the other.
While some were met with outright censorship, inquisition or death, there
are instances where the old ideal of an “Enlightened Despot” did show
through, but these were few and far between.
The ideas were too fresh and the fear of their implementation too real
for those that would later be seen as the oppressors, rather than the leaders of
know that earlier, the ideal for a utopian society rested with the idea that
their would be a Platonic “Philosopher King” or “enlightened despot”
through which the governing and well being of the people would be of paramount
Peasant Revolt in England (1381) and the destruction of Frederick V of Bohemia
(1619-20) were two early examples of an ideologically backed revolt that was
suppressed, either by the shortsightedness of it’s leaders in relying on a
central leader (the former) or through an overly idealistic/simplistic few of
what the consequences of the action would be (the later).
Since that time, revolutionary thought had had the luxury of winding
it’s way into the structure of an international organization.
An organization that had the ability to communicate over long distances,
to move ideas and men into strange location s and be able to have them accepted
into communities and (as the assimilation of more nobles and bourgeoisie into
the fold) the ability to make contact with some of the most influential people
in those countries.
subsequent upheavals in the American colonies, France and, to the point of this
paper, the colonies of the Kingdom of Spain were greatly aided by the ability of
some of these men to take advantage of the factors mentioned above.
takes us back to the earlier offered question as to whether or not the
Freemasons descend from earlier “secret” societies and whether or not just
by saying it’s true makes it true.
real answer is yes. That is the
beauty of Freemasonry.
we are anything anyone says about us and for one reason.
The elasticity of Freemasonry allows for it.
Free thought allows for any thought to come about.
The study of the liberal arts and sciences with no claim at censorship
allows for unrestricted view of man and his place in the earth and the universe.
is what the brother of Freemasonry had laid open to them and the ones that
thought that their understanding of Freemasonry’s message led to them
challenging the most formidable empires known to them, in the name of liberty
and right, and wrenching oppressed people from their enslavers, then by all
means that is what it means.
is not an uncommon sentiment for the time period and one goes back to Lessing
(one of the most influential of contemporary German freemasons) to a line in his
is one of them that fights in Europe for the Americas.” (Fifth Conversation) [xi]
endnote is explained that there were indeed a good number of sympathizers for
the American cause in the Revolution. It
is also seen that a number of Continental Masons took this war as a sign of an
attempt to establish government under
Masonic principles, however, Lessing would conclude that the ideals of
Freemasonry cannot be reached through violence. “What costs blood is surely not worth blood” [xii]
involvement of the Masonic Brethren in the American Revolution is well
documented and well known to those of us in the United States.
was also important is that there were so many men thinking along the same lines,
not necessarily all freemasons, but with the same ideas of what Liberty should
has led to the false attributing of Masonic status to those men who were just
following their deep held religious and political convictions.
Patriots and heroes none the less, but (and this goes back to the spirit
of the biblical heroes as mentioned earlier) they became identified with the
American Masonic movement simply because the movement had taken on the character
of the revolution. For example, the
difference between Ben Franklin and Thomas Paine, both are deists by self
definition, yet Franklin is a Grand master of Masons in Pennsylvania and Paine
is not. A contributing factor could
have been that Paine, unlike Franklin, did not hold the Bible in any esteem
other than as a literary work. (See the Rights of Man, a pamphlet supporting the
French Revolution, 1791) Was he less of patriot for that? This fact may or may
not have always been present but the point that his world view was in general
tuned to the contemporary Masonic viewpoint.
He was a “Mason of Convenience” likewise Thomas Jefferson and any
number of other men of the time. Freemasonry
takes these examples and puts them forth for the brother as symbols of who we
should be like. They need not all
be “certified members” they need just live up to the ideals of the Masonic
teachings. While the Revolution in France would take a more virulent turn and
take the ideas of Liberty, Fraternity and Equality to dark and dangerous new
places. Freemasons were there
again. Not as representatives of
some global organizations but defined as individuals for either praise or
revolutionary France will have it’s influence on the events to unfold in South
America but first we must divine how these pieces all lock together.
IN THE CROWN: Spanish South America
story of the successful revolution in South America is one of the least
predicted of events in that contemporary time. Spanish attitude towards it’s
“possessions” in the South Hemisphere was fairly aggressive.
The natural resources of the continent were to be stripped from the land
and sent to Spain to line the coffers of the King.
people were one of three groups; slaves, indians and whites.
The overseers of the native government were sent in from Spain.
Almost all of the facets of government and trade were done by Spanish
born natives, all books and teaching aids were shipped in from Spain.
No publishing houses or major institutes of learning were allowed on the
continent. Even the clergy was
restricted in it’s instruction of native acolytes. [xiv]
form of universal ignorance was encouraged and indulged in.
The wealthier of the Criollo families would send their children to school
in Spain and while there, they would possibly get the chance to meet the King
and royal court , and possibly get the chance to tour some of the continent;
Rome, French, etc.)
of the first things that these children of the wealthy and “ruling” class of
South America would notice on disembarking was the strict race consciousness
that they would encounter. You must
remember that South America’s social status was based on race and racial
and therefore anyone other than a pure “peninsulares”, immigrants from Spain
or the Canary Islands, was looked down upon.
conscious feeling, and it was no misperception, that those coming from the
Southern Hemisphere, even those from the most respected of Criollo families was
inferior and not quite “Spanish” would make a lasting impression on the
future revolutionaries and be yet another in a series of points for their future
these new colonial visitors to Spain may not have received the type of reception
that they expected, there were a number of people that were most happy to make
their acquaintance. A small number
of salons existed in Spain at this time. The
an obvious effect of the Inquisition was that the amount of these informal
intellectual meeting spots was very limited in contrast to France or even
England. The king and the church
fathers still exerted a great deal of censorship on the intellectual advancement
of Spain. However, there was a
semisecret organization meeting in Spain at the time that would have a great
impact on these new arrivals from the southern hemisphere.
attributes the formation of Freemasonry in Spain, 1728, to expatriate
English men and other interested local Spaniards [xvi]
it had a considerable enough following to found the Scottish Rite there in 1809 [xvii]When
following our timeline, this would show that any like minded individual
traveling in Spain at the time would have encountered a fairly good sized and
“regular” series of lodges operating under the constitution , or guidance
thereof, of England.
as we do that a large portion Freemasons of this time were culled from either
the minor nobility, upper classes, skilled trades and military, these
“Americans” (as they were so called through out the revolution) would be
entering into a most influential network of not only intellectual and social but
business and political contacts.
propose that these contemporary lodges did nothing but foment rebellions would
be to contradict the premise of this work.
What we can see is the offering of this vast network, not by some grand
lodge dictate, but by the chanced to associate with this, possibly, unattainable
source of contacts. Remember as we must that almost all business was done through
“letters of introduction” therefore, someone had to write these letters for
a person to be invited to meet with a person either unknown or normally
unattainable to them.
consciousness is never to be understated in this time period and even the most
egalitarian Duke would have pause to invite a stranger of lower distinction into
his home or office. Secondly, this
offered an opportunity to travel into foreign countries and be met by
sympathetic people and in the case of the revolutionaries, sympathetic people
that either had financial backing or governmental contacts.
is a period painting used as illustration in Mark A. Tabbert’s book, showing
the bark “Lincoln” entering port
and flying a Masonic flag (pg 165), the rationale is that someone aboard is
entering port and is interested in having a Masonic meeting.
This sentiment is echoed in Kipling’s “Captain’s
Courageous” when one of the crew of Troop’s ship goes over to a French
vessel for a Masonic meeting.
significance of this painting is two fold; 1.) The fact is that this type of
event was an ordinary event in the ports. Masons
from all points of the compass could meet with their brothers when in port and
exchange information and contacts. The
seaborne routes of communication were much quicker at that time than the regular
post (if in existence in your particular community) this allowed for 2.) The
ability for Masonic thought and communication to travel throughout this network
of ports and seamen and get to it’s desired destination faster and more
accurately than the usual forms of communication available.
This can be especially important when the message is timely or if a
certain person or document is to be in a certain locale with all possible speed.
that the non political hand of universal Freemasonry was the only thing offered
to the revolutionaries, the British and their agents had another motive for
wanting South America “free” from the King of Spain. This involved a British
operation called the Maitland Plan. This
plan under it’s original title the Vansittart plan, after it’s author
Vansittart called for the British to invade South America and do away with
Spanish rule. [xviii]The
fact that the Spanish lodges would allow British agents to recruit likely
revolutionaries (by social acquaintance) to spearhead the revolt was an added
advantage of Masonic membership.
must be noted, however, that this mercenary attitude was the exception and not
the rule and we see a number of British officers and politicians assist the
revolutionary movement long after the government decides to stop supporting the
Maitland plan. (Note: I would suggest anyone interested in further reading on
this matter consult Harvey’s “Liberators”
for an outstanding description of the topic.)
we have noted the influence of the Spanish lodges on the embryonic South
American revolutionary movement, it is most necessary to note the influence of
one man on the “founders” of liberated South America.
de Miranda was an adventurer, romantic and child of the enlightenment.
In the course of his travels, he met George Washington, Lafayette,
Napolean and Catherine the Great, among others. He served in no fewer than three
armies as well as in the U.S. and French revolutions prior to leading a
disastrous revolution in Venezuela. Prior to his unfortunate demise, this toast
of Europe lived in England and founded “la Lodgia de La Gran Reunion
Americana” an irregular lodge that operated out of his residence in London. [xix]
of La Gran Reunion Americana included people like Bernardo O’ Higgins, Simon
Bolivar, Jose de San martin, Carlos Maria Alvear, Tomas Guido, and many other
South American historical figures. Mariano
Moreno, perhaps the guiding light behind the 25th of May revolution, was on his
way to London to join them when he died on the high seas” [xx]
This who’s who list of the luminaries in South America’s revolution, were
given the opportunity to be among friends, pursue their studies and talk about
the philosophy and direction of their upcoming bid for independence.
Gran Reunion offered them a level of secrecy and intimacy that they may
be otherwise unable to enjoy singularly and allowed them to form closer ties to
one another in both a fraternal and ideological sense.
the world traveled elder statesman would be nothing short of inspiring to these
young men and his influence upon them and their own conceptions of future events
would be long lasting.
in his end, he attained an almost Christ like finish as he is arrested and
denied by his “apostles” after the failure of the 1810 uprising.
However, he did not die in vain as his students, most particularly Simon
Bolivar, were able to learn and benefit from his short and sad rule.
sad event of the suppression of the Venezuelan uprising does however, leave us
with an interesting example of possible “brotherly” aid and one that is
worth discussing at some length.
EXAMPLE OF STEPHEN GIRARD:
example of Girard’s involvement with the Venezuelan revolutionaries and the
Uprising of 1810 is one that requires additional research and a deal of
speculation, however, it is one of the concrete examples of being able to place
people and movements together that was available to this study.
Girard was, in the time period we are discussing, one of the wealthiest
merchants in the United States. His
shipping and mercantile interests spanned the globe and he kept up a voluminous
worldwide correspondence (see Girard Archives at Girard College) both personal
and commercial with some of the most notable figures of the time period.
Not only did he have many influential friend in the United States, but he
was on very good terms with both the family of Napoleon Bonaparte [xxi]
as well as a number of Napoleon's generals [xxii]
his Masonic record, “It is now well established fact that Girard was made a
Master Mason in the Union Blue Lodge Number 8 of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York
Masons in Charleston South Carolina on January 28, 1788” [xxiii]
he was never made a member of a lodge in Pennsylvania mostly probably due to a
deformity of his eye. He did
however, affiliate with a number of them as witnessed by both the level of
participation of subordinate lodges as well as Grand Lodge officers in his
funeral and later re-interrment [xxiv]
relevant passages detailing Girard’s involvement with the South American
revolutionaries is from the book “The Life and Times of Stephen Girard” [xxv]
and, due to it’s scarcity, is
included in the Appendix of this work (Note: in reference to this document, I
will be using the book’s page numbers) .
To our benefit, the book was written as a narrative of Girard’s
mercantile history and relates in detail the majority of his business
the point, it describes a series of meetings with one “Don Juan Vincent
Bolivar” (most probably Simon’s older brother Juan) [xxvi]
and Girard for the purpose of purchasing and exporting weapons for the
revolution. There are a number of
items that are of interest here. Firstly,
the access that Bolivar was able to get to Girard.
The nature of their initial business is Girard’s straightening out of
Bolivar’s existing entanglements in New York and one that was not to be a
pleasant one. Girard attacks the
problem immediately and has the items shipped to him (see pages 164-65)
this should seem a bit odd as Girard was not a merchant known for dealing
in credit and this operation as well as the advancement of moneys to Bolivar
using collateral they may prove to be a loser is not in his nature.
transaction as well as the advance allow for the purchase of some of Bolivar’s
muskets (page 166) as well as their shipment to Girard.
At this point, the transactions and services needed by Bolivar appear to
swing outside of the realm of good financial sense and Girard must put a stop to
the advances (page 167) Bolivar is
relieved and a new deputation of officials appears and they too petition the merchant to procure weapons and materials for the war
effort. The purchase is now quite
large (page 169) and has drawn the attention of other U.S. merchants.
At this point Girard writes to the president of the United States, James
Monroe, and in it he informs Monroe of the situation and it’s potential
implication (page 171) Monroe does not reply to Girard and the deal is finished.
While on the surface, this would just seem like the record of a failed business
transaction, there are a number of factors that should be considered in the
examination of Girard’s business operations would show that this was not a man
that would put himself into drawn out (and costly) business ventures.
He dealt mainly in cash and was not know for extending credit, let alone
to a total stranger. Yet, in this
instance he not only takes it upon himself to straighten out Bolivar’s
existing business dilemma but sounds as if he is a passionate advocate for the
man. He is able to advance him
money (even though it is noted that the collateral is not very good) and does
what he can to guide the fledgling revolutionary onto the path of success.
the amount of the second order is much more lucrative should be discounted.
Knowing the amount of time that would lapse between travel from one
destination to another, Girard would be leery that this new Venezuela would have
any further revenue to spend on weapons or even if that new Venezuela would
exist by the time of the next mail packet.
Girard was known as an “adventure” capitalist and would later make
millions in the War of 1812 and the purchasing of the First National Bank.
If he thought that there was money to be made on revolution in South
America, he would have engaged them in a very beneficial, to him, contract and
could be considered if the new government of Venezuela was on a firm footing,
with numerous or decisive military victories or with overwhelming support of the
people. It had none of those at the time.
own politics are not generally known outside of his philanthropies in
Philadelphia his work during the Yellow Fever Epidemic and his purchase of the
First National Bank (although this was both a financial as well as political
purchase) However, we must view his zeal for personal improvement as well as his
large affiliation with Freemasonry as factors in this story.
Juan Bolivar is able to commission Girard to handle all of this work for him is
another point of interest and I am sure that further study will uncover either a
letter of introduction or a reference to their introduction from some third
party (with a good probability that that person with have a Masonic tie) We know
that a good many men that were involved in the American and French Revolutions
would have no problem with helping
aid a further swing of the pendulum away from monarchy, in South America.
again, there is no smoking gun, no message on letterhead attesting to the fact,
just a number of individuals linked by a common thread or interest, this
interest leading them to identify with and aid, as to their abilities, one
another in a cause.
OF THE LIBERATOR:
ideas being advanced in this paper are rather far afield and encompass a time
period spanning centuries and continents. The
distillation of ideas , the congregation of like minded “enlightened” men
joined by a common belief.
belief that man is good, that man can improve his lot in life and that he has
the right to live in a world in which those set up to rule him do so for the
good of society, not for the benefits available to themselves.
That knowledge, useful knowledge, is a benefit to mankind and that
neither it nor moral truth should be censored under the fist of despotism.
sometimes what some consider self improvement can be considered revolutionary
and what is revolutionary ought to be commonplace.
type of philosophy had already stretched it’s young wings in the newly formed
United States as well as in the new Republic of France.
It now stretched it’s long fingers out to the colonies of Spain and
strove to break it free of oppression.
children of the Inca, brought to Europe had the privilege to sit in the presence
of this new philosophy and take in as much light as possible.
They were nurtured by the elder statesman of their cause, Miranda, and
when, as most times happens, the man could not live up to the myth, they
supplanted him and moved forward in their grand cause.
these mythic statements? A
grandiose way of wrapping rebels in the cloak of Mars?
am the father of the centuries, the arcanum of fame and secret knowledge.
My mother was Eternity Infinity sets the limits of my empire.
There is no tomb for me, because I am more powerful than Death.
I behold the past, I see the future, and the present passes through my
(Simon Bolivar) [xxvii]
feverish words, written by Bolivar around the time of the liberation of Ecuador
would find themselves right at home in the above statements.
we see that the foundation for a revolution in South America exists back to
1808, the movement needed a particular kind of leader.
A man of character and persistence and most importantly, one that felt a
divine force driving him to succeed. On
July 24, 1783, such a man is born in Caracas.
THE HISTORIC RECORD OF SIMON BOLIVAR IN FREEMASONRY|
-Entered into the Lodge in Cadiz Spain 1804-1805
Additional Masonic Degrees:
-Mother Scottish Lodge of France of the Philosophical Rite (Irregular) (1805)
This is the one complete description of Bolivar's initiation into a Masonic/quasi masonic organization still survivng.
-Scottish Rite Degrees to 32 in Paris, France (1807)
-Knights Templar in Paris France (1807)
Masonic organizations (credited with founding):
-Proctectora de las Vertudes, Lodge #1 (Venezuela) He is credited with founding and serving as W.M.
-Order and Liberty, Lodge #2 (Peru) Founder
not for the death of his wife in 1802, we may never have heard of the name
Bolivar. He may have been content
to live out his life in his hacienda, attending to whatever diversions a man of
his considerable wealth would have found pleasing and never have had a cross
word with Spain.
death, however, brought about a period of intense despair and self destructive
at the end of which, he emerges with the beginnings of the intensity of
character that will lead him through major initial defeats through the long and
vicious fighting of the war of liberation and into his heyday as “El
Libertador”, the Liberator of Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador.
himself, has had a formidable classical education, comes from a well known and
respected Criollo family and has made excellent contacts in both the continent
of Europe as well as in the United States.
His writings, especially his perspective of Latin America and it’s
place in the world are very insightful. A
number of his warnings about the abuses of government as well as the attitudes
of the people are as valid today as they were then. [xxix]
is of interest that Bolivar takes to Freemasonry after the death of his wife [xxx]
and not in the way of a dilettante, but rather as a man eager to understand a
strange yet familiar concept [xxxi]
It is after his raising that he makes his famous “Oath Taken in Rome” [xxxii]
and begins to work on his quest to liberate South America.
it just misplaced grief for his wife? Does
the blame for her death fall on the Empire that allowed her to die?
Conditions in Venezuela were harsh even for the wealthy.
Airborne disease, malaria, all things were possible or was it his desire
to be apart of the freeing of man.
idea that this thing, this revolution was bigger than himself and the others
involved, thereby making them somehow part of something for history maybe even a
feeling of near immortality (having read his works, this is not a far stretch of
the imagination) and being immortal, he would find an end to his mortal
the real reason for Bolivar’s dedication to the cause, it was a lifelong one. The battles he fought and the privations felt by him and his
troops sapped his mental and physical abilities and in the end of it all let him
the most disillusioned of the patriots.
know I have ruled for twenty years, and I have derived from these only a few
sure conclusions: (1) America is ungovernable, for us; (2) Those who serve
revolution plough the sea. (3) The only thing one can do in America is emigrate;
(4) this country will fall inevitably into the hands of the unrestrained
multitudes and then into the hands of tyrants so insignificant they will be
almost imperceptible, of all colors and races; (5) once we’ve been eaten alive
by every crime and extinguished by ferocity, the Europeans won’t even bother
to conquer us; (6) if it were possible for any part of the world to revert to
primitive chaos, it would be America in her last hour. “
(Simon Bolivar) [xxxiii]
are a multitude of reasons for Bolivar’s tragic end as well as his epic
disillusionment with the cause of the revolution.
Among them would have been the realization that he was watching his
life’s dream die, swallowed up by the grabbing hands of an ill used,
undereducated and at times morally bankrupt populace.
could not possibly have been the new Athens or Atlantis that he had dreamed of
and talked about while in Europe. Those
enlightened gentlemen that he knew were either scattered, killed or turned into
some unrecognizable form of themselves. Bolivar’s
rule as enlightened despot was received much in the same way that Joseph
II’s was in Austria. It was too much light and too fast.
was the last war of pure idealism and one that he did not win. For all his skill
and determination, for all his prowess on the battlefield and in matters of
state, the masses spoke and he was made to step down. Both the Enlightenment and
Freemasonry let him down.
kill a man’s beliefs is far worse than the killing of the man himself.
writing this paper, I have tried to expound upon contemporary themes and beliefs
of the time and how through a synchronicity of events they turned into something
much larger than their respective parts. The
conception that I hold from Freemasonry of that time, and this is as follows.
rules given to a man when he advances through the degrees are not rules as such
but guidelines. The secrets of
Freemasonry are just that. Secret. They
are known only to the brother who dedicates himself to the study and
exemplification of those principles.
study of all things in this natural world given their inspiration by a belief in
a Supreme God, the G.A.O.T.U. or by whatever name we use.
This study is what makes us Masons, not some pin or dues card. The knowledge that we are part of a grand scheme of things in
a universe in which we are to play some part is a comforting position.
It should also be one of challenge and a source of constant interest.
importantly, we need not be alone in our travels as through our brotherhood we
may find some other dedicated men who feel the same way that we do.
Study and self improvement do at times need a foil and as long as that is
what Freemasonry is about then it will continue to exist.
can see that many of our brothers gave more than their share to forward a way of
life for the rest of us. It is our
privilege to know them and to call them brother much as it was for those men of
is the true believers; those that take the clues and hints from the ritual and
make it a part of them, that Freemasonry most prizes, as they have not cut
themselves off from the light but constantly strive for perfection.
working of a rough stone by the cutter is an apt description.
Bolivar, Simon "Oath Taken
in Rome" (8/15/1805)
References to which are available in a number of sources, for this work,
either the Claudy or Roberts books can be utilitzed (see bibliography)
The degree of Royal Ark Mariner deals with a Mosaic story. See Mackey's
"Encyclopedia" vol 2. pg 494 and vol 2. p 646 (see bibliography)
Plato's Republic. A blueprint for
an idealised government. The
ruler being the "Philosopher King"
this "Enligthened Despot" ruling over the people for their
own best interest and with an eye toward virtue and knowledge.
Or the strain on the people. See
"The Story of Civilization; Rosseau and the Revolution" Chptr 13,
particularly section 7
One of bacon's many quotes. See
"The Essays of Francis Bacon" or www.sirbacon.com for an expanded
list of Bacon's quotes and achievements.
excerpt from the "Good News" Bible.
for detailed explanation of some of the signs and symbols, go to the Levity
website (see bibliography) That
Royal Arch information was
transferred from England to France to Germany shows the wide spread
communications network of the organization as well as the cohesiveness between
different foreign jurisdictions.
Excerpt from Ernst un Falk "First Conversation"(see bibliography)
Chapter 4, "The Order of Harodim" pg. 87
Lessing's "Masonic Dialogues" Fifth Conversation
For a detailed observation on the Masonic view of Liberty, view
Brother Alex Davidson's Article of the same name (see bibliography)
Also note Miller's "Origins
of the American Revolution" (page 170) for the emphasis on early Mason's
embracing of the philosophy of John Locke on their view of government. (see
Dana, Gardner, Munro, Chapter 3 (see bibliography)
Mackey's "Encyclopedia" Vol
2. pg 703
Fuster's "Maitland/Vasinttart Plan" (see bibliography)
Harvey's "Liberators" pg 35 (see bibliography)
Fuster "Maitland/Vasinttart Plan"
Cheeseman "Stephen Girard: Founder" pp 33-35 (see bibliography)
McMaster, "The Life and Times of Stephen Girard"
pp 162-171 (see bibliography)
Simon Bolivar was not an only child. He had an older brother Juan Vincent
Bolivar who would have been at the right age to have met with Girard.
Simon was probably in London meeting with Miranda at the time.
Although there is specualtion that he visited Philadelphia on his way
home from Europe. What may have transpired at that time is subject to
Bolivar, Simon "My Delirium on Chimborazo" pg 135
(see bibliography) This was not Bolivar's only prophetic vision, he liken
himself to the great Inca as well. Rather
for popular support or out of belief is unknown
Bolivar "The Collected Writings, of"
See timeline. Bolivar Raised in
See Bolivar's Masonic History
Bolivar, Simon "The Collected Writings of"
Bolivar, Simon "Letter to General Juan Flores" from "The
CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS
Order of Poor Knights of St. John of Jerusalem (Knights Templar) is suppressed by the combined forces of Philip, King of France and Pope Clement V of the Roman Catholic Church.
Peasant's Revolt in Britain. Ostensibly the revolt centers around certain government officials and practices. The King at the time is not a target as the mob stresses loyalty to the King but not the government. Leaders include a number of mid level, reform minded clerics and one "Wat Tyler" de facto leader of the rebellion.
King James 1 of England authorizes the first English translation of the Bible, making the "Word of God" available to those not fluent in Latin.
Francis Bacon writes, "The Advancement of Learning" with a dedication to King James 1. The books premise is that knowledge and individual improvement will be helpful to every man.
The "King James Version" of the Bible is printed for general consumption. This version allows a wide section of lay persons to read the teachings of the work for themselves for the first time.
Thomas Helwys presents "A Short Declaration on the Mystery of Iniquity" to King James. The book has as it's topic Religious Liberty. Helwys is put to death.
Elisabeth, daughter of James 1 marries Frederick V (a protestant), Elector of the Palantinate in Heidelberg. (Feb. 14th)
Fama Fraternitatis, the first of two Rosicrucian manifestos, appears in printed form. The brotherhood declares it is a universal organization that values truth, education and the proponent of change for the betterment of man. It has been considered that the model for this new enlightened kingdom was that of Frederick V, Elector Palantine of the Rhine who was married to Elizabeth the daughter of King James 1 of England
Confessio Fraternitatis, the second of the two Rosicrucian manifestos appears in print.
Frederick V accepts the crown and becomes King of Bohemia.
Frederick V's protestant forces are defeated by the catholic forces of the Holy Roman Emperor at the Battle of White Mountain (Nov. 8)
Elias Ashmole becomes first documented man to join a "speculative" Masonic lodge. (England)
Royal Society is founded in England. First and oldest learning society in England. Many members are the rising stars in science and the liberal arts.
John Locke publishes "Two Treatises on Government" the books views on the role of government and the rights of citizens goes on to be a major influence on the men shaping the upcoming American Revolution.
Freemasonry reveals itself to the world with the announcement of a "Premier Grand Lodge" in London. Since this organization does not include all Masonic lodges in England (or Scotland and Ireland for that matter) there is an ongoing controversy over who is the "oldest" Masonic organization operating in the British Isles.
Deputation granted by Grand Lodge of England to constitute a lodge in Madrid Spain. (see Mackey's Encyclopedia for entire history of events)
Francisco de Miranda is born in Caracas.
Thomas Dunkerley delivers his talk "The Light and Truth of Freemasonry Explained" considered a position paper on Masonic landmark beliefs.
Council of Emperors of the East and West is formed in Paris, France. This Council organized the "Rite of Perfection" the forerunner of the Scottish Rite. (see Mackey's Encyclopedia for complete history)
Thomas Paine meets Ben Franklin in England. (June) Franklin convinces Paine to emigrate to the American colonies. Paine arrives in Philadelphia (Nov. 30)
Outbreak of hostilities leading into American Revolution
Thomas Paine publishes "Common Sense" and argues for a complete break from the British Crown. (Jan 10). American Congress Ratifies "Declaration of Independence" (July 4)
Gotthold Lessing publishes the play "the Masonic Dialogues" or "Ernst and Falk."
Miranda, now appointed aide to the Spanish General Juan Manuel de Cagigal , participates in operations against British forces in Pensacola. FL.
American Revolution Ends. Colonists, with the help of their allies France and Spain, successful in defeating British. Miranda now a lieutenant colonel meets George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Paine
Simon Bolivar is born in Caracas. July 24
Miranda begins his Grand Tour of Europe. he markets himself as a noble and a revolutionary for the cause of South American Independence. (ends 1789)
French Revolution begins.
Miranda founds "La Gran Reunion Society" Present and future members to include most of the notables in South America's coming revolutions. It is considered by some Masonic scholars to be run as an irregular lodge. (see Mejia's paper)
Thomas Paine publishes "Rights of Man" in support of the French Revolution
His Grand Tour at an end, Miranda joins the French Revolutionary Army. Eventually promoted to General.
Simon Bolivar arrives in Spain for the first time.
Simon Bolivar visits France.
Bolivar, recently widowed, makes his second trip to Spain and tours parts of Europe, specifically Paris.
Napoleon is crowned Emperor in Paris. Bolivar becomes a Freemason in Cadiz, Spain.
While in Rome, Bolivar swears to liberate South America from Foreign Rule.(Aug. 15)
Miranda's expedition, Leander leaves from New York for Venezuela. It is not successful.
Bolivar lands in Charleston, South Carolina. He eventually makes his way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and leaves for Venezuela from there.
Joseph Bonaparte made King of Spain. Revolt breaks out in the Spanish held territories in Central and South America
In Upper Peru a group of students and professors stage an uprising against the authority of the Seville junta, not the French occupation. They specifically state their allegiance is to the King not to the government of Spain.
Venezuelan revolutionaries depose the Spanish government and establishes an independent junta. Don Juan Vincent Bolivar (brother of Simon) arrives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to see Stephen Girard, one of the wealthiest merchants in America. on the subject of purchasing arms for the revolutionary government in Venezuela. Simon Bolivar arrives in London as emissary to the revolutionary government, meets Miranda
Stephen Girard writes to James Monroe, Secretary of State to advocate for military and financial aid for the Venezuelan revolutionaries. Monroe does not return the message. Venezuela declares independence from Spain. Bolivar begins his campaign in Valencia.
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of Grand Lodge of Spain:
Gl of Spain Website, www.gle.org/ingles/i_historia.php
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Concept of Liberty, The :
(W. Alex Davidson), PS Review of Freemasonry, www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/Davidson.html
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